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Adam Culp:
Stop the pain, get to PHP 7
Oct 09, 2017 @ 11:21:24

In a post to his site Adam Culp makes a recommendation to all of those running their applications on older versions of the language: stop the pain, get to PHP7.

So, now you may be asking, “What does [my football story] have to do with upgrading to PHP version 7?” The answer, because many are letting the pain of moving to PHP 7 prevent them from experiencing the pleasure and rewards.

PHP version 7.0 was released almost 2 years ago. (1 year 10 months to be exact.) And many are still running PHP version 5.something. As a matter of fact, PHP version 7.0 is already going to run out of active community support in only 1 month and will only receive security fixes for another year after that.

He then talks about some of the pains that usually come with upgrading, especially when the jump is a relatively large one (like from the 5.x world). He mentions the acclamation of limitations that is all too easy to get used to with older versions. He also covers some of the pleasures that come with PHP 7 including one of the most major ones: the instance performance boost it gives most applications.

tagged: php7 upgrade pain migrate php5 version language

Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/1376

HHVM Blog:
The Future of HHVM
Sep 19, 2017 @ 09:45:03

The HHVM project (an alternative PHP runtime from Facebook) has made a major announcement on their blog - beginning with version 3.24 they'll no longer be trying to keep parity with the PHP language now that it has moved into PHP 7.

The HHVM team is happy about the direction PHP has taken with PHP7, and we’re proud of the role we’ve played in pushing the language and runtime to where they are today. Since the PHP community is finally saying goodbye to PHP5, we’ve decided to do so as well.

Our next LTS release, 3.24, will be cut about four months from now and will receive support for one year thereafter. It will also be the last HHVM release that commits to PHP5 support. This aligns with PHP’s own timeline of sunsetting PHP5 at the end of 2018.

[...] PHP7 is charting a new course away from PHP5, and we want to do the same, via a renewed focus on Hack. Consequently, HHVM will not aim to target PHP7. The HHVM team believes that we have a clear path toward making Hack a fantastic language for web development, untethered from its PHP origins. We’d do ourselves and our users a disservice by positioning HHVM as an uncommon, less well-documented, less compatible PHP7 runtime.

The post then lists out some of their goals for the HHVM/Hack projects moving forward including reinvesting in open source and staying focused on their needs for the platform and language. It then talks about some of the upcoming changes you can expect around support of current versions of popular PHP tools and work on tools created specifically for Hack.

tagged: hhvm facebook platform hack language project goals php5 php7

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/2017/09/18/the-future-of-hhvm.html

Facile.it Engineering Blog:
How to gradually upgrade toward PHPUnit 6 with namespaced classes
Sep 13, 2017 @ 11:56:03

On the Facile.it Engineering blog there's a recent post sharing some tips on how to gradually upgrade your PHPUnit tests to work with version 6 of the popular PHP unit testing tool.

In the latest months I wrote multiple times, in different projects, code migrating PHPUnit toward major version 6. This upgrade is harder than the previous one, since in this version it was introduced a big breaking change: all classes got (finally!) namespaced.

This means that any usage of those classes in your project needs to be updated. [...] In this article I will explain which steps I applied during those migrations, highlighting the most frequent hiccups.

He then start with "the easy one" to take care of the refactor: updating tests to replace the "PHPUnit_*" classes with the namespaced versions. With those out of the way, he talks about "the bumpy one" to handle: modifying test listeners to work with the new PHPUnit structure. Once these are taken care of you can then make the move up to PHPUnit 6 and PHP 7 (if you're not there already) full time.

tagged: phpunit upgrade version unittest phpunit6 php7 tutorial

Link: https://engineering.facile.it/blog/eng/phpunit-upgrade-namespace/

PHP Roundtable:
064: PHP 7 Source Code: A Deep Dive
Jul 12, 2017 @ 13:35:41

The PHP Roundtable podcast, hosted by PHP community member Sammy K Powers, has posted their latest episode: Episode #64 - PHP 7 Source Code: A Deep Dive. In this show Sammy is joined by Sara Golemon, a core language contributor and XHP.

We take a deep-dive into the underlaying structure of the the PHP source code and talk about the scanner, parser, the new AST layer (and the evil things we can do with it), and the Zend engine. Let's see how the PHP sausage is made!

You can catch this latest episode either through the in-page audio or video player, directly on YouTube or by downloading the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the episode, be sure to follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their feed to get updates when future shows are being recorded and are released.

tagged: phproundtable podcast ep64 php7 deepdive source code saragolemon

Link: https://www.phproundtable.com/episode/php-7-internals-scanning-parsing-ast-and-engine

Scotch.io:
What's New in Laravel 5.5
Jul 07, 2017 @ 13:07:47

The Scotch.io site has posted a new article sharing some of the new features and changes that are coming with Laravel 5.5, the next major release of the framework.

At the time of this writing, Laravel 5.5 is not released yet. It is slated, as the next major release, for release in July 2017. To play around with new features and changes, you need to grab the dev release of Laravel using this Laravel Installer command: laravel new project --dev

The article starts by pointing out that this version will require at least PHP 7.0, a supported and much more performant version of the language. It then covers the changes in this version including:

  • the reintroduction of the "Whoops" library for debugging/error handling
  • a change to vendor:publish to get a new provider prompt
  • email themes
  • automatic package discovery
  • error page design improvements
  • streamlined request validation
  • exception helper functions
  • model factory generators

Each of these items comes with screenshots or code examples showing the new feature at work. It also ends with a few miscellaneous updates mentioning changes in the CSRF handling and the return of a JSON stack trace for API calls.

tagged: laravel version feature update changes php7 v55 framework

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/whats-new-in-laravel-55

CloudWays Blog:
PHP 5.6 Vs PHP 7 – Performance Benchmarks With Laravel 5
Jun 16, 2017 @ 11:56:59

The CloudWays blog has posted an article sharing the results from some benchmarking they've done comparing Laravel 5 on PHP 5.6 versus PHP 7.

Laravel is rapidly becoming a popular choice for PHP projects. The framework has established its reputation after the release of version 5.x. In the same vein, PHP recently received a major update in the form of PHP 7.1.x.

It is an established fact that Laravel has a solid codebase and provides optimized performance for all lightweight and enterprise level applications. However no statistics about Laravel 5 benchmarks and its performance with PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 are widely available.

Using the Blitz testing tool and sample Laravel applications managed through CloudWays (on DigitalOcean), they benchmarked mean response times and the "hit rate" of the requested pages. Graphs are included of the results for both PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 and the post ends with a comparison of the results from the two scenarios with PHP 7 coming out on top.

tagged: cloudways laravel benchmark php56 php7 comparison blitz

Link: https://www.cloudways.com/blog/laravel-5-benchmarks-php-5-6-and-7/

Rob Allen:
Inserting binary data into SQL Server with ZF1 & PHP 7
May 22, 2017 @ 09:34:51

In an interesting mix of "old" and "new" Rob Allen as shown in this new post to his site how to push binary data into a SQL Server database from a Zend Framework v1 application.

If you want to insert binary data into SQL Server in Zend Framework 1 then you probably used the trick of setting an array as the parameter's value with the info required by the sqlsrv driver as noted in Some notes on SQL Server blobs with sqlsrv.

[...] Working through the problem, I discovered that this is due to Zend_Db_Statement_Sqlsrv converting the $params array to references with this code. The Sqlsrv driver (v4) for PHP 7 does not like this! As Zend Framework 1 is EOL, we can't get a fix into upstream and update the new release, so we have to write our solution.

He includes the code for the "hack" that you'd normally have to do to push the binary data into the database. Zend Framework v1 is EOL (end of life) so the Zend_Db_Statement_Sqlsrv class can't be updated. Instead, he writes his own replacement, creating a new adapter specific to the application that handles the input as the SQL Server driver is expecting. He then updates the application configuration to force the new adapter to be used when the ZF1 application needs to connect to the SQL Server database.

tagged: insert binary data sqlserver zendframework php7 tutorial adapter

Link: https://akrabat.com/inserting-binary-data-into-sql-server-with-zf1-php-7/

Symfony Blog:
Preparing your Applications for PHP 7 with Symfony Polyfills
May 19, 2017 @ 11:07:50

The Symfony blog has posted an article showing you how to prepare your applications for a migration to PHP 7 with the help of various polyfill libraries. These libraries make it possible to use PHP 7 functionality in non-PHP 7 applications if the function in use isn't defined.

According to the May 2017 PHP Stats, 53% of PHP developers use PHP 7.0 or 7.1, but only 10% of Composer packages require PHP 7.0 or higher. In fact, 1 in 4 packages still require PHP 5.3, which is used by less than 1% of developers.

[...] Upgrading your development machines is usually a simple task, but upgrading the rest of the infrastructure (servers, tools, etc.) usually requires more resources. This is where Symfony Polyfills can help you preparing the code of your application for PHP 7.

The article briefly explains what polyfills are and how to load in the current Symfony set via a Composer install. There've provided functionality for PHP versions 5.4 through 5.6 as well as PHP 7.0 and 7.1 to ensure you have the most up to date functionality at your fingertips.

tagged: php7 application symfony polyfill library functionality composer tutorial

Link: http://symfony.com/blog/preparing-your-applications-for-php-7-with-symfony-polyfills

Jordi Boggiano:
PHP Versions Stats - 2017.1 Edition
May 09, 2017 @ 09:16:21

Jordi Boggiano, author and lead developer on the Composer project has posted his latest updates sharing the PHP version statistics for the first part of 2017.

It's stats o'clock! See 2014, 2015, 2016.1 and 2016.2 for previous similar posts.

A quick note on methodology, because all these stats are imperfect as they just sample some subset of the PHP user base. I look in the packagist.org logs of the last month for Composer installs done by someone. Composer sends the PHP version it is running with in its User-Agent header, so I can use that to see which PHP versions people are using Composer with.

He starts with the differences between now and the last time he ran the stats with a nice trends towards the PHP 7.x releases, especially PHP 7.1. He shares some graphs of the overall version distribution and a time-related graph showing changes in usage over time. Finally, he ends the post the same way as the others showing requirements of packages and how they've changed since the last update (what version a package requires).

tagged: version statistics results graph time php7 2017

Link: https://seld.be/notes/php-versions-stats-2017-1-edition

Nikita Popov:
PHP 7 Virtual Machine
Apr 17, 2017 @ 17:42:47

Nikita Popov has a new post to his site sharing a look behind the curtain of how the PHP 7 virtual machine works, the latest version in the Zend Virtual Machine that powers the language.

This article aims to provide an overview of the Zend Virtual Machine, as it is found in PHP 7. This is not a comprehensive description, but I try to cover most of the important parts, as well as some of the finer details.

This description targets PHP version 7.2 (currently in development), but nearly everything also applies to PHP 7.0/7.1. However, the differences to the PHP 5.x series VM are significant and I will generally not bother to draw parallels.

Most of this post will consider things at the level of instruction listings and only a few sections at the end deal with the actual C level implementation of the VM.

He then goes through many different points and piece of functionality in the VM and how they work including:

  • variable types
  • the stack frame layout
  • fetch modes
  • exception handling
  • finally handling
  • generators

There's lots of information here and it's definitely interesting to see what happens inside the language to create the fast and functional PHP 7 applications we have now.

tagged: virtualmachine php7 zend detail behindthescenes example

Link: http://nikic.github.io/2017/04/14/PHP-7-Virtual-machine.html